Beng Mealea

Another of the outlying temples and landmarks outside of the Angkor Archeological Park include Beng Mealea. Also known as the jungle temple, Beng Mealea dates back to the 11th century and was built under the instruction of King Suryavarman II. The temple itself is very large, and all of the lintels and doorways boast stunning carvings. Many historians believe that Beng Mealea might even have served as a prototype for Angkor Wat itself.

Beng Mealea Temple

What really makes Beng Mealea such an appealing destination is that it has a completely different set of rules than the surrounding temples. In many temples within the park, there are restrictions about where visitors can go and what they can touch. At Beng Mealea, where trees have grown in and around the temple and access is limited, visitors can get in however they deem appropriate. Don’t be surprised to see tourists climbing over walls to enter the temple or crouching down on the wooden decking surrounding the temple to take close-up photographs of the carvings. You can feel free to explore every inch of Beng Mealea, and it is a wonderful way to see how nature will take over even the most exquisite of landmarks over time.